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John and I enjoyed 'man dates' in run-up to Junior MasterChef

I enjoyed a few "man dates" with my co-star, John Torode, on CBBC's Junior MasterChef before we got down to filming.

The producers sent us on a few "dates' to get to know one another.

John is fantastic. He knows so much about food it would bore you to tears -- but in a good way.

We went for a few beers and he gave me very good advice about judging the series.

The best advice he gave me was to pick dishes that are memorable.

Even though I am a big fan of the series, I had no idea how hard it would be to choose a winner.

I didn't expect it would be so hard. Breaking children's hearts was never part of the job description!

Seriously though, the show isn't like that at all. It's about encouraging children to get into the kitchen.

Also, the kids leave in sets of three, so that kind of softens the blow. We made sure none of them were upset.

In fact, I was often the one who got upset. Even John said I was too emotional.